leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

Two years after arrest which has been criticised his followers and attracted trenchant criticism from human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, was on Saturday, allowed to make a public appearance.

Though he still remains in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), he was allowed to meet some journalists in Abuja on Saturday with a message that appears primarily focused on dousing his followers’ increasing anxiety over rumours of his death.

While confirming that he is alive and well, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky expressed appreciation to all Nigerians who have been praying for his safety.

He also thanked the DSS for agreeing to his demand for a change that has enabled his personal doctors to examine him.

“It was severe· on me on Monday but subsequently it started subsiding and for the first time; at least the security allowed me to see· my own doctors .

“So it was my own doctors who examined me.

“Before, I used to be· examined by DSS doctors alone but this time, I did not agree and my own doctors came to examine· me .

“I am getting better, thanks to all your prayers,” he stated.

Earlier, Ibrahim Musa, spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria had issued a statement stating the strongly-rumoured death of Sheikh El-Zakzaky on Friday was a deliberate plot aimed at provoking violent protests and an opportunity for miscreants to cause trouble.

“Credible reports have confirmed that hoodlums have been commissioned by the authorities to foment trouble by burning tyres and properties in the course of our peaceful processions.

“Part of their evil plot involved spreading false news of the alleged death of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky due to illness, on a fake Facebook page.

“They had hoped to achieve their mischievous aims by using that to wreak havoc and attribute same to a supposed reaction of members of the Islamic Movement,” he stated.

According to the IMN spokesman, security agents opened fire on IMN members who were conducting a peaceful protest over El-Zakzaky’s deteriorating health under illegal detention.

He further alleged that two people were killed, scores were wounded while hundreds of the protesters, including an IMN leader, Sheikh Qasim Umar Sokoto were arrested.

Early in November last year, human rights lawyer· Mr Femi Falana has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to order· the immediate· release· of the leader· of Ibrahim El Zakzaky .

In a letter· dated November 7 and addressed to the President, noted that a Federal High Court in Abuja had in December 2016 ordered the release· of El-Zakzaky and his wife from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) .

He further noted that the court also awarded them N50 million reparation and directed the Federal Government to provide a temporary accommodation for them as it had been established that the Nigerian Army and the Kaduna state· government had burnt and demolished their private residence at Zaria in Kaduna State.

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